Tips to get ready for Foreign Trip
A state visit is a formal visit by a foreign head of state to another nation.
Decide beforehand how you will get cash. If you want a little local currency to get you through the first day or so convert your money at a major hometown bank. Airport converting counters carry fees and can be confusing if you do not speak the language. A leftover coin or two is a fun memento, but $40 in leftover dinar? Not so much.
Do some research to see if most vendors in your destination take U.S. dollars. Either way, you can rely on a debit card and ATMs for the rest. Yes, there are ATM fees, but they are usually less than the foreign transaction fees of many credit cards. These universal MasterCard and Visa ATM locators should prove helpful. If you insist on swiping for your stroopwafels, double check your credit card companys policy on overseas transactions.
3. Set Your Away Message
No, not on your work email on your financial life. Let your banking institutions and credit card issuers know where you are going and when. Fraud protection is great, until you learn that your credit card company can not picture you on safari and suspends your card mid trip. Also take a few minutes to photocopy your passport, drivers license, plane tickets, and credit cards, and leave those papers with someone not lucky enough to go with you. You may also want to pay your bills early to avoid accidentally missing the due dates.
4. Phone Home
Of course you will want to call your friends back in the states to mock them while they sit in their cubicles, but before leaving, call your cell phone service provider to ask whether your model of phone will work in the countries you plan to visit, what the per minute talk charge will be, and whether it makes sense for you to buy the traveler discount plan offered by some carriers. If those numbers still give you sticker shock, opt for a phone card so you can call from the hotel room instead of the top of the Eiffel Tower. Your friends will still be jealous. Getting online from your smartphone is a little more tricky and a lot more pricey. Its best to disable your data roaming while you are on the road and stick to internet cafes. For our full guide on handling matters of the international phone
5. Rake It In
Let your house or apartment make money for you while you are away. Even though you think your head will explode if you do not get out of town right this second, someone somewhere is planning a trip to your fair city and looking for a place to crash thats cheaper and more homey than a Marriott. Beyond Craigslist, sites like HomeAway and VRBO facilitate inexpensive short term stays. They have small membership fees, but a years worth of rental opportunities costs less than one night at a hotel speaking of, Airbnb lets you set a price to list your home just like a hotel room. If you will be gone for an extended period of time, you lucky dog, consider a house swap (free for everyone) with sites like HomeExchange and INTERVac.
6. Know the difference between direct and nonstop flights and always opt for the latter
Unlike nonstops, direct flights can touch down at other airports on the way to their ultimate destinations, says Macon Dunnagan, a baggage handler with US Airways. And while stops are built in to the total travel time, the potential delays they can cause are not.
7. Make sure you buy your ticket under the exact name that appears on your ID
It might seem obvious to you that Betsy is a nickname for Elizabeth, but it may not to a skycap, a desk agent, or a security officer?any of whom could ask you to show ID with that name before boarding, says Delta Air Lines public relations rep Katie Connell.
8. Select your seats ASAP
If you have a disability and need a premium seat in the bulkhead, tell the agent when you make your reservation rather than at the airport, says David Martin, a Delta passenger-service specialist who creates the airlines policies for customers with disabilities. Other passengers might be able to nab those seats 24 hours before the flight, when they are made available to everyone through the airlines website.
9. Get to your gateway city as early as you can
Since delays stack up as the day progresses, its smart to book the first flight you can into a hub [if you have a connecting flight], says Dunnagan.
10. Double check foreign document requirements
Some countries?like Chile, Kenya, and India?require a visa for entry others, like South Africa, will not allow entrance unless a travelers passport contains at least two blank, unstamped pages. You need to be aware of such requirements before you make your flight reservations or you could get stuck Stateside, according to a source at the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs. For a complete list of entrance regulations
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